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Severe sharp headaches with fullness and feeling of bursting pressure in the head

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I have been getting very severe headaches for the past 5 days. Sometimes it is only on the left side, and sometimes omnipresent. The pain is sharp, and there seems to be fullness and a lot of pressure in the brain, as if it is about to burst. The headaches start almost as soon as I wake up, and last almost all day long, making it difficult to fall asleep at night. I have had mild fever (99.0 - 100 F) for about 6 days, and a mild nagging cough as well for about 2 weeks. I had developed some pain in my back (along the spine, near the lungs) about 3 weeks ago, and showed an orthopedic about 2 weeks ago. He got a CBC, Serum Creatinine, CRP and RBS, all of which were normal. I have had a history of chronic (almost daily) headaches for almost 13 years now, but these new headaches are a type I haven't had before.

Category: Neurologist, Medical

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Category: Pediatric Neurologist
 27 Doctors Online

Thank you for posting your query at

Based on your history, the most likely cause of your headaches could be chronic migraine with chronic daily headaches. This requires preventive therapy (to prevent the recurrence of headaches) and medications to relieve the headaches. For prevention, preferred medications include topiramate, divalproex and beta blockers. For pain relief, rizatriptan may be used.
If you do not get better, then, botox injections are also an option.

Finally, since the character of these headaches are different from your usual headaches, we also need to consider alternative diagnosis such as sinus infection, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (clotting of blood in brain veins), etc. So, if your pain persists, then, an MRI scan of brain may be done.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist,
Institute of Neurosciences,
Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills,
Hyderabad- 500 033, India

Patient replied :

Thank you. How long should I wait before I get an MRI done?

Thank you for getting back.

You can wait for 2-3 weeks and if pain is persisting beyond that, then MRI of brain can be done.


Dr. Sudhir Kumar
Category: Pediatric Neurologist
Senior Residency, Fellowship: DM, Neurology, CMC, Vellore, 2001
Junior Residency: MD, Internal Medicine, CMC, Vellore, 1998
Medical School: MBBS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, 1995
Dr. Sudhir Kumar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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